Item description for Body Piercing Saved My Life: Inside the Phenomenon of Christian Rock by Andrew Beaujon...
Overview A chronicle of modern-day Christian rock music profiles some of the most successful Christian rock bands and looks at the subculture that they have spawned, including extreme teen Bibles, skateboarding ministries, and nightclubs.
Publishers Description "Body Piercing Saved My Life" is the first in-depth journalistic investigation into a subculture so large that it's erroneous to even call it a subculture: Christian rock. Christian rock culture is booming, not only with bands but with extreme teen Bibles, skateboarding ministries, Christian tattoo parlors, paintball parks, coffeehouses, and nightclubs, encouraging kids to form their own communities apart from the mainstream. Profiling such successful Christian rock bands as P.O.D., Switchfoot, Creed, Evanescence, and Sixpence None the Richer, as well as the phenomenally successful Seattle Christian record label Tooth & Nail, enormous Christian rock festivals, and more, "Spin" journalist Andrew Beaujon lifts the veil on a thriving scene that operates beneath the secular world's radar. Revealing, sympathetic, and groundbreaking, "Body Piercing Saved My Life" (named for a popular Christian rock T-shirt depicting Christ's wounds) is a fascinating look into the hearts and minds of an enormous, and growing, youth culture.
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Studio: Da Capo Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.98" Width: 6.08" Height: 0.77" Weight: 0.91 lbs.
Release Date Jun 1, 2006
Publisher Da Capo Press
ISBN 0306814579 ISBN13 9780306814570
Availability 0 units.
More About Andrew Beaujon
Andrew Beaujon is a senior contributing writer for Spin and has written for the Washington Post, Washington City Paper, the Guardian, and Salon. He lives in Virginia.
Reviews - What do customers think about Body Piercing Saved My Life: Inside the Phenomenon of Christian Rock?
Great! Feb 13, 2008
It arrived at my house in a very timely manner. It was exactly how it was described, in a good condition.
a solid overview Feb 11, 2008
...though not a great one. most of you will remember the author as frontperson of Eggs, the band that gave us the classic LP "Teenbeat 96 Exploder." since that time, Beaujon has enjoyed success making journalism (of which this book is part). the book does a good job of providing some background and perspective on a subject widely misunderstood by outsiders (whom i count myself among). my criticisms are pretty much the sort that could be levelled against a vast number of music books. there's some distracting editorializing outside the (presumed) subject matter (anyone for a rehash of Dave Matthews vs. the Dismemberment Plan?) and no mention of some figures who've enjoyed notable crossover appeal: the sublime electronica of Joy Electric, Roadside Monument (a sort of Don Cab for Jesus) and the Sam/Leslie Phillips phenomenon. in terms of political orientation, the Serious Christian rock audience (as opposed to, say, those Serious Christians who limit their intake to Christian Rock) are as likely to speak well of Mr. Obama as Mr. Huckabee. overall, it's a terribly, terribly complex subject that Beaujon is to be commended for tackling.
honest thoughts on american evangelicalism Aug 11, 2007
I think there's something in all of us that loves to know what other people think of us. Growing up in the `90s under the "christian music only" rule, and a (former) collection of over 300 christian rock cds, I found this aspect of my life under scrutiny from the "outside." And I loved it.
In Body Piercing Saved My Life, Beaujon offers a very candid look at the christian rock music industry. I have to say that I learned a ton about the music industry in general by reading this book. Seeing the behind the scenes issues, the financial policies, the tensions, etc. was something new for me.
The book focuses more on people than anything, and I think Beaujon realizes that you can't really learn much from caricatures or stereotypes. (I guess that's why he wrote the book). This, for me, was incredibly interesting, as he basically related a series of interviews, relationships with figures in the scene, and how they all fit into the big picture.
I can't say that I found much to disagree with in the book. I resonated strongly with David Bazan's confusion and then rejection with the charismatic background he was raised in. I very much agreed with Beaujon's analysis of modern praise music as "more than a little sexual and a tad uncomfortable if you're sitting next to an attractive person who's been overcome by the Spirit." (159). He pointed out the similarities between the way Deadheads and now the current jamband scene experience their music, and the current "worship experience." I thought I was the only one who saw that! As one who has had deep experiences in both scenes, I thought his analysis was right on and matched my experience perfectly. He also points out many of the quirks and foibles in modern american evangelicalism, and I couldn't really argue with any of them.
I think I share the same opinions with Beaujon when it comes to american evangelicalism and its music. For me, I've rejected it in favor of a bare-bones, bible based faith which rejects most of the trappings of this sub-culture (some would label me a "fundamentalist," though (like we all say) "it's much more nuanced than that!") When I "got convicted" about my music, it wasn't just the Grateful Dead that got tossed out, it was my entire music collection, all 300+ christian rock cds included. Beaujon, in contrast, finds himself identifying with those christians who reject the american evangelical subculture in favor of the world's culture, and an emphasis on a social gospel.
I found this fascinating: "As I left, [Jae] Choi asked me if I was a Christian, and when I said no, he handed me a tract. I was on the plane home before I realized that I'd been working on this project for six months, and it was the first time anyone had tried to evangelize me." (168)
It's apparent to me, also, that Beaujon doesn't understand the gospel: "To me, the message of the Gospel is love one another, look out for the less fortunate, and try to walk gently on the earth." (271). This is, in fact, the "gospel" that many american evangelicals are currently preaching. To me, the message of the gospel is this: even though I am a wretched sinner who knows that I deserve hell and have no possible way of saving myself from it, God Himself took the initiative, became a man, took my sin upon Himself, and received the punishment I deserve. The way is clear for a restored relationship with the Creator of the universe! That's good news!
I loved Beaujon's writing style. It was downright art at times. I also loved his transparency, and felt that this was a pretty unbiased, straightforward account of the scene. I didn't feel any hatred or malice or desire to make anyone look stupid; (if anyone looks stupid in this book, they brought it upon themselves). Overall, I wouldn't say that I necessarily gained a whole lot by reading this, but I found it fascinating and enjoyable to read.
Body Piercing Didn't Save Beaujon's Life Jul 8, 2007
I enjoyed reading the book, but I didn't agree with much of what the author had to say. Beaujon inserted a lot of opinion into this book and it shows in some ways he had an agenda even though he probably would deny that. He highlighted Christians who swear, drink and carouse. He hung out with David Bazan and seems to feel most comfortably with him more than anyone else in the book.
The book is informative and shows that he did research, but still he wrote that Yellowcard started as a Christian band that crossed over to the mainstream. He wrote transcripts of interviews in the book, which is kind of lazy. He revealed all the "off the record" comments by the people he interviewed. Not only that but some parts of the book dragged on because he lacked a clear focus. It becomes apparent that Beaujon wrote the book and didn't have an editor who knew enough about Christian Rock or Christianity to correct some of the mistakes he made.
The bottom line is that this book is better than "Why Should the Devil Have All The Good Music?" But that's not saying much. The book should have been called "A Spin Magazine Writer's Take On Christian Rock".
Great Perspective Jul 5, 2007
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I am a Christ follower, and it was interesting reading about the history of Christian rock. Of greater interest to me was looking at things from Andrew's perspecitve on Christianity as a self-described non-Christian (not anti-Christian). Beyond his perspectve on Christianity and Christian music, my favorite thing was the occasional glimpse into his own personal journey and thoughts.